A nice bit of inspiration from the weekend: Leah Still running for a touchdown.
St. Joe’s Prep this morning held a prayer service for Ryan Gillyard, a 15-year-old student who collapsed Saturday morning during a football team practice; he was declared dead at Temple University Hospital soon after.
Ed Sabol, who founded NFL Films, has died at age 98. The company is headquartered in Mount Laurel, N.J.
A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011, Sabol was the visionary force who revolutionized sports on camera and mythologized football at its highest level of competition.
“Through his determination and innovative spirit, Ed Sabol transformed how America watched football and all sports,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday. “Ed ignited the fire at NFL Films and was the Keeper of the Flame with a remarkable vision and dedication to telling the stories of the people who played, coached and loved the game.
“He earned the ultimate recognition by being selected in 2011 to the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he will forever be remembered alongside the men he so greatly cared about. Ed’s memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of fans around the world whenever they see the work of NFL Films and of the many people he inspired.”
As Marshawn Lynch made a mockery of his Super Bowl interviews last week, he also became the symbol of the persecuted black man.
In a day and age where all of us have the responsibility of thought to real racial issues, I found the Lynch caper to be a waste of some really good energy.
With Marshawn Lynch, where was the cause? He didn’t want to talk to the media. Apparently his attitude for not talking goes back to his days as a running back with the Buffalo Bills, where the press excoriated him for some off-the-field transgressions. OK, I got that. Lynch wanted to get back at the press. But where else was there a racial cause?
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Deflate-Gate has turned out to be a brilliant tactical development for the New England Patriots, who I predict will win this year’s Super Bowl.
The Pats have evolved this week from a pack of blatant cheating weasels to the unfairly persecuted, a dramatic transition last seen in Godfather II. In front of a special Senate Committee, Michael Corleone denied he was remotely involved in organized crime, and urged the committee to absolve him of guilt with the same enthusiasm with which they accused him. Meanwhile, Tom Hagen was screaming, “This committee owes an apology Senator!”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft pulled a similar trick out of his hat a few days ago when he lectured the press and the public about accusing his organization of cheating. Kraft was crafty in his wording, but only an idiot couldn’t see through it. He said “if” the NFL’s investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing, he hoped that everybody was prepared to beg the Patriots for forgiveness. Or something like that. He didn’t say “when” the NFL finds no evidence of wrongdoing. He was spitting into the wind. Just like Michael Corleone.
But here’s the thing. Corleone was a gangster. And the Patriots did cheat. And no smoke-and-mirrors, fancypants dialogue can wriggle human beings from hard, cold reality.
— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 11, 2015
It wasn’t a good weekend for noted Dallas Cowboys fan Chris Christie. His team lost, on a controversial call, and well, you can see his reaction in the photo above.
Christie’s fellow Republican, former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, was … not sympathetic.
— Paul Ryan (@PRyan) January 11, 2015
Well. Now that’s over, Christie can finally decide if he wants to run for president. And excellent timing. We think the best way to run for president is to pick a swing state and then alienate all the voters in that state who love the team you’ve been dissing lately. Electoral gold.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones paid the cost of Chris Christie’s travel — including a private jet — to Sunday’s NFL playoff game featuring the Cowboys versus the Lions. (You know: The one featuring “The Hug.”)
Christie has now attended three games at the invitation of Jones, who invited the governor and picked up the tab, said Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts.
“Governor Christie attended the game last night as a guest of Jerry Jones, who provided both the ticket and transportation at no expense to New Jersey taxpayers,” Roberts said.
The governor’s office cited The Code of Conduct for the Governor, adopted under former Gov. Jim McGreevey, in Executive Order 77, which says the governor “may accept gifts, favors, services, gratuities, meals, lodging or travel expenses from relatives or personal friends that are paid for with personal funds.”
Well, Chris Christie really means it when he says he’s a Cowboys fan. Here he is Sunday, celebrating the team’s playoff victory with owner Jerry Jones:
The Jerry Jones-Chris Christie hug/dance was pretty weird. https://t.co/ZwcrP8KEht
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) January 5, 2015
That generated a fair amount of, er, comment on social media:
On Monday night, three days before a colossal NFL game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, a major news story began playing out making the game seem pretty small.
The situation in Ferguson involves all of us. We can’t hide from it and it can’t be swept behind a wall of conversation about a football game.
What I do on 97.5 FM The Fanatic is sports talk, but it’s really life talk — conversation among people of different races, creed and colors. And when an issue like this explodes in front of us, it is our duty to talk on it. Conversation fosters understanding; it’s the only thing that can foster understanding because it’s the only way we can hear and attempt to understand another’s viewpoint. So to the people who tweet me with nonsense like “I thought this was a sports station; let’s talk sports,” I have the following message: Open your mind, grow and progress, if just for the sake of your children and future generations who should live in a society that’s not always at odds.
I accelerated to keep up, and then I felt it pull.
Though I hadn’t done much in the game, I was feeling pretty good. I never played real, organized football, but I had a long “career” of touch football in the street, tackle football at the playground and flag football in intramural leagues. But I hadn’t played any type of football in 10 years. And here I was, playing in a charity flag football game at Lincoln Financial Field.
The game was set up by NRG Energy, the energy company headquartered in West Windsor, New Jersey. NRG was nice enough to invite me to play in the game and donate a thousand dollars to a charity of my choice (One Step Away, Philadelphia’s homeless newspaper). Dave Spadaro announced. Swoop cheered us on.